Daniel Sado takes us through the process of drug discovery
New drugs appear on the market all the time. One of the challenges facing us, as doctors to be, is to try to evaluate how good a new drug is likely to be. To attempt to critically appraise a new drug, it is important to understand the different stages that the drug has had to go through to reach the market.
When considering whether to undertake a drug discovery programme, the first thought of any drug company is, “Will the drug be of economical benefit to us?” The cost of developing and testing a new drug can be as much as £125m. Discovery programmes suffer high failure rates and it is often difficult for drug companies to predict whether the new treatment will be commercially valuable when it hits the market. These uncertainties mean that drug companies will often undertake drug discovery programmes only if there will be a big